May’s First Wednesday event was a great success!

Steve Potts - May 7, 2014 Mill Valley Historical Society

Steve Potts – May 7, 2014
Mill Valley Historical Society

May’s First Wednesday event was a great success. Mountain biking pioneer and Mill Valley native Steve Potts delivered a very thoughtful and engaging presentation to a full house.

In addition to talking about the development of mountain biking he covered much more. Using entertaining stories he talked about growing up in Mill Valley, his travels and discovering his passion for creating and building things – in particular bicycles. That passion steeled him to build a business over the last 40 years that he obviously loves.

Steve Potts
Throughout the discussion he offered many life lessons about work, raising a family and giving back to the community. And perhaps most importantly he reminded us of how lucky we are to live where we do.

“The Swiss Connection” First Wednesday Program


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The second talk of the 2014 First Wednesday Series was another sellout crowd. Tourism in Ticino, Switzerland will probably show a sharp increase as a result of Marilyn Geary’s photos of the Valle Maggio.  Marilyn traced the roots of many West Marin families to Valle Maggio, and she discussed how these families have made an impact on agriculture in West Marin – many of them in cheese making like their ancestors.

MVHS February 2014 First Wednesday Presentation


DSC05114On February 5, Betsy Stroman spoke to the Mill Valley Historical Society at the opening First Wednesday presentation of the 2014 season. A crowd of 70 guests listened to Betsy’s talk, which included 35 historic slides and anecdotes of the Sausalito artists of post-war Sausalito.  Betsy focused on the Sausalito Six and other well-known artists of the time.  [click photos to enlarge]


Dipsea “The Greatest Race” – Barry Spitz



On June 5th, Local Dipsea and Mill Valley historian, Barry Spitz spoke to the Mill Valley Historical Society at the final First Wednesday presentation of the 2013 season.  A crowd of 70 guests looked on as Barry shared 35 historic slides and anecdotes of Dipsea champions, many of them from Mill Valley.DSC02912


Also in attendance was local hero, Russ Kiernan.  Russ is a 3 time Dipsea champion, 40 year resident of Mill Valley, AND a board member of the Mill Valley historical society.



Four minutes of Barry’s “slide show” also included film from the 1980’s archives of races. The film clips were taken from the movie titled, “Dipsea, 1983 – 1988”, which is available for check out from the Mill Valley library.

The Mill Valley Historical society will return with its season of first Wednesday speakers in February of 2014.  There will also be a guest speaker of historical significance at the annual MVHS dinner in October.  Check back to this web site in the summer for details.

May 2013 1st Wednesday Report

MMWD 100th Logo
Jack Gibson - MMWD

Jack Gibson gave a very interesting talk on the history of the Marin Municipal Water District at the May First Wednesday Program. MMWD was created in 1912. A significant donation of land on Mount Tamalpais was made by William Kent. In the following years, using authorized powers of eminent domain, MMWD acquired the lands and waterworks of 24 privately owned companies. One of these was the Marin County Water Company which had created Lake Lagunitas in 1872 to supply water to San Rafael and San Quentin. Jack Gibson showed many photos of the construction of the dam for Alpine Lake which was completed in 1919.  Michael O’Shaughnessy was the head of the engineering committee. In 1889, he had found a source of water, built Cascade dam for the Tamalpais Land & Water Company and surveyed Eastland and Millwood which became Mill Valley. Of particular interest were photos taken before and after construction of the dams that created the MMWD lakes on Mount Tamalpais.
[click first slide for slideshow]